Originally Posted by mad_machine
Why are the commercial Fishermen and crabbers always seem to be trying to put themselves out of business? While it would hurt for severe restrictions to be in place for a couple of years, the rebound in stocks should make up for that
It's a classic "Tragedy of the Commons" situation. That and the tendency for most to look at the short view. And in all fairness, if their entire livelihood, capital, etc are tied up in the fishing and crabbing industry they're between a rock and a hard place. Can they earn enough off the water to cover living expenses and holding costs for those couple of years?
"The tragedy of the commons is a dilemma arising from the situation in which multiple individuals, acting independently and rationally consulting their own self-interest, will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource even when it is clear that it is not in anyone's long-term interest for this to happen. This dilemma was first described in an influential article titled "The Tragedy of the Commons," written by Garrett Hardin and first published in the journal Science in 1968."
"Central to Hardin's article is an example (first sketched in an 1833 pamphlet by William Forster Lloyd) of a hypothetical and simplified situation based on medieval land tenure in Europe, of herders sharing a common parcel of land, on which they are each entitled to let their cows graze. In Hardin's example, it is in each herder's interest to put the next (and succeeding) cows he acquires onto the land, even if the quality of the common is temporarily or permanently damaged for all as a result, through over grazing. The herder receives all of the benefits from an additional cow, while the damage to the common is shared by the entire group. If all herders make this individually rational economic decision, the common will be depleted or even destroyed to the detriment of all."